Open less than a year, the University Heights coffee and wine bar is laying in new breakfast and lunch items, and the stuff at the dessert counter (gourmet chocolate, brownies, tarts, coffee cake and the like) must have multiplied on its own. The physical plant sports an almost antiseptic look, with its smooth orange façade fronting an invitingly high ceiling, invisible speakers and room for very nearly 25,000 people. Add your choice of something like 10 wines and eight beers, and life on the inside looms pretty complete.
But the draw to the place involves something more people-oriented than all that. As you nurse your excellent turkey-pesto-avocado on multigrain bread that just cost you $5.50 (few items run more than $8), you're totally taken in by the ambience-one you'd expect to encounter on a fairly exclusive college campus. For all the world, Cream is a veritable study hall, crowded with exclusively young, hipster faces to boot. Pristine, characterless white tables and chairs glare back at their occupants, the latter taking due advantage of the free wi-fi and the ample light filtering in from the giant storefront windows. Everybody's nose is relentlessly buried in a laptop, almost as if on cue. Your gustatory expectations clash accordingly-and the contrast is positively disarming.
Cream's location, at 4496 Park Blvd., assures easy access; the number is 619-260-1917, and the place is open Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. That gives you plenty of time to sample the perfectly fine fare-and even more to take in the unlikely, fascinating scenario.